Japanese lawmakers are set to vote on the IR implementation bill and determine whether to allow two or six cities to host venues.
Japan.- After over a decade of the casino industry lobbying for regulations in Japan, lawmakers are ready to take the final step on the IR implementation bill. The upcoming debate will face the parties of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which is proposing up to six cities to be allowed to host casinos, and its Komeito coalition partner, which wants only two.
“The operators had been expecting to compete in at most two all-or-nothing beauty parades for the first licences, but could now find themselves in a more strategic chase around regional Japan,” explained an executive from a US operator.
The market could turn into the second largest after Macau, as it would potentially reach revenues between €12.1 billion and €20.3 billion, depending on which plan gets approved.
“This is a meeting that will have a lot of moving parts, and a number of issues like tax rates, entrance fees and the physical size of casino floors will be subject to horse-trading,” a Financial Times source close to Komeito politicians said, and added: “Probably the biggest haggle is going to be over the number of licences. The LDP is going to come in very aggressively with a proposal for either five or six licences. In the end, I think they will walk away very happy if that is bargained down to three.”